College of Human Sciences Department Head serves as judge for International Wine Competition

Graham Brooks | Communications Editor

Dr. Martin O’Neill, who serves as the Department Head and Professor of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management within the College of Human Sciences, was recently selected to serve as a panel judge for the International Wine Competition prior to the 30th annual New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.

“Over the years I have developed several contacts in the brewing and wine industries and this is just one of those fun perks I get to do,” O’Neill said.

For the first time following the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Wine Competition returned May 23-25 to the newly opened Four Seasons Hotel in New Orleans, La. Where O’Neill served as one of 11 judges consisting of industry experts and wine judges from across the country.

O’Neill has an extensive background in the beverage industry where he is a founding member of Auburn’s Brewing Science and Operations Program, he received a Wine and Spirit Education Trust Certificate in 1996 and spent several years developing and teaching the NUFS4600 Beverage Appreciation class at Auburn University.

This was the first time O’Neill was asked to judge the wine competition where more than 180 wines, both local and international, were present. Every wine judged received either a gold medal, silver medal, bronze medal or no award.

“Tasting wine for a few days how can any of that be bad?” O’Neill said. “But my favorite part was working with a variety of sommeliers and having the opportunity to interact with all of them and their levels of expertise was tremendous.”

Following the International Wine Competition, the competition awards were presented at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience event from June 7-12.

For more information on the NOWFE, visit